Senior Discount

Chicagoans have always considered it a right of citizenship to complain about the price of parking. Parking costs a fortune in the garages and lots. The meters are an outrage. And this isn’t just since the recent huge rise in street parking fees, either. Figuring ways around the fees and the tickets  that accompany getting caught is a source great pride. I still smile remembering how I used to finagle free parking in my youth. Parking tales are legend here. My wife, Karen recounted such an experience from a few years ago. It’s a true story, I swear to god.

“It was 9:00 a.m. and I had just gotten off the bus at Randolph and Michigan and crossed the street to the east side of Michigan. I saw a sedan pull up to the curb across  the street from me in the middle of the block, halfway between Randolph and Washington. This, in itself was noticeable because there is absolutely no  parking allowed on Michigan Avenue.

An elderly gentleman in an elegant suit, tie and fedora got out and went to the trunk. He pulled out a wheelchair and went to a rear door and helped an elderly lady out. She too was fashionable in hat and gold-colored coat. They set the wheelchair up on the sidewalk. Then both went to the front passenger seat and helped a very old lady, also dressed up,  into the wheelchair.

I was the only one watching this that I know of; it was the rush hour and people were in a hurry. Besides, sometimes I think they don’t want to notice. If they did notice, they might think they would have to offer help or even report it to a  cop. So only I saw what happened next.

The gentleman went back to the trunk, got the jack and slowly jacked up the car. ‘But there’s no flat tire,’ I thought. When he finished, he wiped off his hands, put the jack handle away and closed the trunk lid. He rejoined the ladies as they smiled sweetly at him and all three proceeded down Michigan Avenue, the car suspended on high.”

Now, who would be mean enough to ticket such a trio?


About Chicago Stories

I'm a Chicagoan, have been for fifty years. I've had a consulting business in the city for thirty-eight years, working with many Chicago companies and organizations and others around the world. Before that, I worked the city's race relations agency for five years.I am a volunteer tour guide for Chicago's Greeter Program and introduce visitors from around the world to this beautiful city. I'm also a writer of several professional books as well as poetry, essays and fiction. The city has become my inspiration, education and entertainment. View all posts by Chicago Stories

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